A BPA-Free Halloween is As Easy As…Pie!

The more we learn about how horrible BPA is for humans (especially little humans), anytime you can avoid it is certainly a good thing. But now that you’ve removed any BPA-contained bottles and sippy cups in your house, did you know that BPA may still be lurking…..in your pantry? While some new innovations are being developed, currently BPA is in the lining of almost all canned goods in the USA. So any time you can find a way to do something that you previously had to turn to a can for is definitely a small victory toward health for your family!

Canned pumpkin is a pantry staple for most families about this time of year and until just last year, my family had been no exception.  My canned-pumpkin ways were changed one fateful day last fall when, while shopping at Trader Joe’s, I saw small pumpkins with stickers on them that gave basic instruction for how to take that pumpkin and turn it into a pie.

Having never made a pumpkin pie from scratch, I decided to take it home and give it a whirl. When my husband mentioned it sounded tedious, I agreed that it probably would be but I just wanted to do it once. But it was so easy! Not only is the process of taking a pumpkin and turning it into the (healthier) equivalent of what you’d get in a can super easy, it tastes better, too. If you’ve been thinking that it must be hard, tedious, or complicated to turn a pumpkin into a pie, give this a shot. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it really is!

Better-Than-Canned Pumpkin 101
Step 1: Acquire a Pumpkin
Mine is a “Pamper’d Pumpkin” from Trader Joe’s. Any small, sweet or ‘pie’ variety will do.Step 2: Wash pumpkin and cut in half (plus pre-heat oven to 350 degrees)
(Remove the stem, too)Step 3: Scoop out seeds and strings.
Save the innards if you want to make toasted pumpkin seeds. Otherwise, discard or add them to the compost pile.Step 4: Place pumpkin halves cut side down in a baking dish and bake 1 hour – 1.5 hours until outside can easily be pressed in with a spoon.
(also, separate and rinse pumpkin seeds if desired. Spread on a baking sheet. Spray with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for approx. 20 minutes while pumpkin is baking)

Step 5: Allow pumpkin to cool so you can handle it easily.

Step 6: Scoop out flesh into a bowl with a spoonStep 7: Blend with hand blender or run through food processor until smoothThat’s it! Now measure out 2 cups of fresh pumpkin puree to stand in for a standard can of pumpkin in any recipe. Or add some to ice cube trays and freeze to use for baby food. You can also cover and refrigerate for about 5 days.I used mine to make a Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cake.Ingredients:

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground all spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 eggs (or however many called for on the box)
  • 1 Tbsp organic canola oil

Directions: Blend all ingredients together using a hand mixer and bake until knife inserted in the center comes out clean (see box for temperature and approximate baking time). Top with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. Not only does it make a super tasty moist cake, but you’ll be able to sneak some extra veggies into your kids’ (or husband’s) diets while you’re at it!

Author: Carissa from of Carissa’s Creativity Space. For more fabulous fall recipes and craft ideas, please visit Carissa’s blog and Facebook page.

 

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6 Responses to “A BPA-Free Halloween is As Easy As…Pie!”

  1. Christine
    October 31, 2011 at 8:48 PM #

    This is exactly what I needed; not necessarily the Chocolate cake but the way to prepare fresh pumpkin.

  2. Condo Blues
    October 16, 2012 at 6:48 PM #

    We always eat our Halloween pumpkins for Thanksgiving. This time, I think we’re going to add chocolate to the mix.

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